Sep 30, 2014

A ceremony to commemorate the 2,565th anniversary of the birth of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius was held at the over-700-year-old Confucius Temple in Beijing, Sept 28, 2014.

More than 500 people, including heads from all walks of life, experts, followers of Confucianism from Russia and the US, and the general public attended the event. Kong Deyong, 90, a 77th-generation descendant and head of the World Federation of Confucius Descendants also joined the ritual.

Some of the participants took part in a series of procedures such as bowing to the statue of Confucius, Ba Yi dance, an ancient dance that started in the Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-256BC), and offering wine to Confucius. Students from Guangqumen Middle School chanted paragraphs from Confucian classics.

We hope that through the ritual with solemn procedures, traditional Chinese music, Han and Tang style clothing worn by participants, people can feel the holiness and charm of Chinese cultural tradition, said Wu Zhiyou, director of the Confucius Temple and Imperial College Museum.

According to Wu, since the opening of Confucius Temple in Beijing to the general public in 2008, the number of visitors has increased annually. This year the number is estimated to be 800,000, with expat visitors accounting for about 10 percent of those visitors.

To me this is one of the greatest opportunities in my life to be here today, not only to witness, but to participate in the ceremony, said Gary Conners, a professor of art at Lone Star College in the US, one of the offering officers in the ritual. For him, Confucius is a man of peace, intellect, and great strength in heart.

Confucius was deified as a great sage in ancient China. For thousands of years, he has been regarded as a symbol of China's traditional culture, as well as the country's intellectuals.

The ceremony dedicated to Confucius is held annually at Confucius temples throughout the world on Confucius’ Birthday (Sept 28) to pay homage to Confucius.

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